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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bermuda Will Let Cruise Ships Open Casinos, Bars While in Port

Bermuda is making some big changes to the rules governing cruise ships visiting the country.

Bermuda's Royal Gazette reports that the nation's legislature has approved a plan to let ships operate shops, bars, casinos and other entertainment venues during the evening while in Bermuda's port -- a significant loosening of longstanding rules that have restricted on-board activity.

The paper says the change is designed to make Bermuda more competitive with other cruise destinations. Many of the cruise ships that visit Bermuda spend multiple nights in port, and some legislators fear the existing rules restricting casino gambling and other entertainment options on ships have diminished the allure of a cruise to the destination.

The move to allow gambling on the ships is controversial in a country where casino gambling is outlawed, and opposition party members fought the change on the grounds that it would open the door to casinos on land, too.

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